Q: I'm trying to remember the name of a movie where Jake Gyllenhaal plays a police officer who helps Hugh Jackman find his daughter. I remember the ending being very anger-inducing.

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

I'm feeling your pain here. It could seem like producers in the late '00s and early '10s were actively trying to make you forget the name of the movie you just watched (if you were watching a certain type of movie).

Let's try a thought experiment. Guess which of these actual film titles from the period between 2008 and 2014 is the one you're looking for: "Taken," "The Captive," "Prisoners," "Gone Girl," "Homefront," "Safe."

In fact, you're thinking of "Prisoners" (2013), but it was definitely part of a cinematic moment: tersely titled kidnap thrillers featuring the top chiseled leading men of the era. "Prisoners" was Gyllenhaal and Jackman's entry, while 2014's "Gone Girl" was Ben Affleck's, 2008's "Taken" was Liam Neeson's, "The Captive" (2014) was Ryan Reynolds' and 2012's "Safe" was Jason Statham's. "Homefront" (2013), another Statham vehicle, wasn't a kidnap plot, but the title could easily have fit one.

For producers, participating in trends like these can be a risk, as you're taking a chance of your film getting lost among all the others, but it paid off for a lot of these films, including "Prisoners." Indeed, all of them at least made their money back, and a couple of them (namely "Taken" and "Gone Girl") were legitimate global mega-hits.

Getting back to your question, I think I can say, without spoiling anything, that "Prisoners" had one of those endings that doesn't give a lot of actual resolution, and those can indeed be very frustrating.

That, at least, differentiates some of these from the others. While "Taken" and "Safe," for example, are very straightforward, happy-ending movies that lean toward the chase and action element of a kidnapping movie, "Gone Girl" and "Prisoners" both prefer the paranoid and twisty side of the genre.


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